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Accomplishments

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine’s Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee (DISC) was launched in January 2017. The committee is comprised of faculty members, trainees (residents, fellows, psychology interns and postdoctoral residents), and staff. Since its inception, the DISC has:

Created a Diversity Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Infrastructure and Culture

  • Developed a mission and goals statement
  • Created a logo
  • Launched a website
  • Achieved the appointment by the department of a Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and two Assistant Vice Chairs for Faculty Development – DEI focus
  • Created a diversity consultation service -consultants for various diversity topics related to race, ethnicity, language, disability, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, refugees and immigration, and implicit bias, etc.- Consultants, who are available to provide advice regarding patient care, educational, and/or research matters, provide services that cover 19 languages and 29 topics 

Took Active Steps toward Improving the Departmental DEI Culture

  • Received consultations from grand rounds speakers about current activities and future initiatives
  • Co-sponsored a department-wide forum related to improving the culture related to DEI
  • Updated Diversity Engagement Guidelines for the department 

Provided DEI-Related Education

  • Sponsored 1-2 grand rounds speakers each year and received consultation from the speaker (e.g., Muslim mental Health, transgender behavioral health, implicit bias in healthcare, Jim Crow in the Asylum, Vascular Disease and Depression in Black Older Adults) and expanded the diversity of the grand rounds committee members
  • Sponsored programs for the department and family members related to diversity (e.g., reading of a children’s book about talking to children about racial injustice -written by current and former faculty members)
  • Offered monthly information in the department newsletter about key days in the Diversity Calendar (when possible, individuals associated with a particular demographic group shared their personal experiences as well as factual information about a particular day)
  • Disseminated emails in response to DISC relevant current events (e.g., deaths of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressman John Lewis, C.T. Vivian) that provide additional readings and recommended actions
  • Sponsored panel discussions and workshops related to diversity (e.g., Transgender Panel: presentation and then discussion about unconscious bias)
  • Held a conversation about Congressman John Lewis’ book, Across that bridge

Advanced DEI within the Training Programs

  • Revised the residents’ diversity curriculum and assumed responsibility for it
  • Prioritized having a member of the DISC available for each of the residency recruitment days so that resident applicants could ask questions about DISC and the department and program’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity
  • Updated training brochures to be clear about welcoming international students and addressed challenges for these applicants and ways to overcome these
  • Provided unconscious bias training for all faculty engaged in resident recruitment

Partnered with Others to Improve the Lives of Local Refugees and Immigrants

  • Provided psychoeducational workshops to youth at a local refugee community center
  • Partnered with colleagues to provide asylum evaluations
  • Secured research grants to address the mental health needs of the local refugee community

Assumed a Leadership Role in Addressing Hate Crimes and Advancing Anti-Racism

  • Developed and disseminated communications to the department in response to hate crimes (e.g., murder of trans and gender non-conforming individuals; murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery; Al Noor Mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand; shootings at the kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey and the Chabad of Potway outside of San Diego, California)
  • Held a series of well-attended anti-racism town halls that led to the articulation of a series of action steps
  • Developed a training plan and trained faculty, staff, and trainees to co-facilitate anti-racism townhalls
  • Created and disseminated anti-racism actions guides and weekly action steps
  • Participated in the Atlanta Behavioral Health Advocates (ABHA) Psychology Today blog by crafting DEI-focused blogs

Engaged in DEI-Related Scholarship

  • Formed a R25 and K23 workgroup related to culturally informed research
  • Partnered with the Women Faculty Subcommittee and the Racial and Ethnic Minority Faculty Subcommittee to detail departmental DEI efforts in an article that will be published in Focus